Crime-free Housing in the 21st Century
Author: Barry Poyner
Publication Date: December 2005
"Politicians, police and the press are always looking for a way to
cut crime and keep it down. Here it is. No police chief, architect or planner
should be without it. In fact they should be held accountable if they haven't
read it. Whoever or whatever you are, if you have any interest in crime, design
or public policy this book will give you a new way of looking at things."
Nick Ross, BBC Crimewatch UK, Chairman, Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science Advisory Board
'This book shows the extent to which crime in residential environments can be controlled through design and planning. It is much needed. That design and planning can contribute to the control of crime is not new, and there have been other books, theories and official guidance on this topic. The value of this one lies in the strength, scale and detail of the research evidence presented, and the consequent prime role it gives to design in creating self policing and crime free environments of the future'
Barry Webb (in the Introduction to this book)
This book sets out to investigate the relationship between crime and the design and planning of housing, and to produce practical recommendations to help architects and planners to reduce crime. It builds upon and updates research originally published in Crime Free Housing (1991), providing an easily accessible, high quality and well presented account of crime and housing layout.
The recommendations of this book focus on ways of reducing four different types of crime through better design:
Burglary - a strategy to
discourage people trying to break into houses
Car crime - a strategy for providing a safe place to park cars
Theft around the home - a strategy for protecting the front of house, items in gardens, sheds and garages safe
Criminal damage - a strategy to minimize malicious damage to property
Foreword (1) by Ronald V Clarke
Foreword (2) by Stephen Town
Introduction by Barry Webb
1 Recent research and guidance reviewed
2 Crime in residential areas
3 Comparing housing layouts
4 Burglary and housing layout
5 Car crime and housing layout
6 Theft and damage around the home
7 Fifteen years on
8 Case studies
9 Design strategies against crime
Appendix 1 A classification of residential and non residential crime
Appendix 2 Residential crime data
Appendix 3 'Summary of design requirements' (from Crime Free Housing)
Comparative Histories of Crime
Author: Edited By Barry Godfrey, Clive Emsley, Graeme Dunstall
Publishers Willan Publishers
Price: £18.99 RRP UK
Publication Date: Sept 2003
This book aims to both reflect and take forward current thinking on comparative, cross-national and cross-cultural aspects of the history of crime, and to broaden the focus of the historical context of crime and policing.
Contributors to the book (from the UK, Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand) explore a diverse range of topics, including declining rates of violence, juvenile delinquency, the punishment of offenders, policing, and military law, demonstrating how comparative perspectives can enrich contemporary studies of crime and policing. A variety of themes are addressed in an extensive introduction which reviews current thinking in relation to the comparative history of crime and criminal justice.
The contributors share a common concern to identify the distinctive features of the social and cultural contexts existing within national boundaries, and to contrast these with the commonalities of experience from other countries. Overall the book provides an exciting mix of theoretical discussion, empirical enquiry, and signposts for future research of interest to historians of crime and policing, criminologists, sociologists of deviance and others with an interest in questions of crime and order in the modern age.
Barry Godfrey is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Keele University; Clive Emsley is Professor of History at the Open University, and President of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice; Graeme Dunstall is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. All three have published extensively on the history of crime and criminal justice.
Susanne Karstedt, Maria Kaspersson, Peter King, Paul Lawrence, Bronwyn Morrison, Gerald Oram, John Pratt, Heather Shaw, John K. Walton, Martin Wiener, John Carter Wood
Foreword Martin Wiener
Comparative history- is an approach to the past long urged by many but actually practised by few. This is not surprising: it is difficult and timeconsuming, for it demands a mastery of more than one body of sources and, if it is nationally comparative (as is usually the case), of more than one body of scholarship. Of course, as Barry Godfrey, Cliye Emsley and Graeme Dunstall note in their enlightening introduction, all history is fundamentally comparative: historians cannot help at least implicitly comparing the present in which they live to the past they study. Yet as the historical profession continues to specialise, the need for specifically comparative historical work becomes ever clearer. Comparison alone makes it possible to understand just what is particular about particular histories to give them their proper place in the larger picture.
The history, of crime and criminal justice is still a young branch of study, and its scholars have been preoccupied with establishing basic understandings of national patterns of crime over time and of the workings of national systems of criminal administration. By now, however, sufficient knowledge about crime and criminal justice in particular locales and eras has begun to accumulate to permit serious comparative work to begin. Eric Monkkonen has pointed to a growing international standard of definition and communication which is now making cross-national comparisons feasible. Some guidelines may be appropriate for this sort of scholarship. Comparison seems to work best when its subjects are different but not too different: when they have enough in common to make their differences revealing, for example comparison between England (or Britain, bearing in mind the unique Scottish system of law) and her settlement colonies, or between two or more of those colonies. Here a legal and to a significant degree a social and cultural heritage is shared, and differences can highlight other differences - in environment, politics and society - as well as the omnipresent influence of contingence. Another potentially rewarding approach is comparison between England and the United States; here again, a shared early history and legal framework can bring into sharp relief differences emerging over several centuries of divergent development. A third angle of attack is to compare European states, as wholes or in part. In each of these approaches what is shared can provide a meaningful context for highlighting and examining differences, and can suggest fruitful generalisations for further exploration. The essays in this collection all adopt one or other of these approaches, and each in its own way advances our understanding of the complex contours of 'crime' and its 'administration' in the western world in the past two centuries.
Martin J. Wiener
In this collection of essays on cross-cultural histories of crime, the editors, (quite rightly) seek to dismiss any actual or perceived theoretical differences between cultural historians and historical criminologists by constructing a bridge of 'functional understanding.' All the contributors may therefore be classified as 'comparative crime historians' undertaking cross-cultural historical investigations into a range of criminal practices -most of which are connected to some form of violence or another. The editors contend that such common understandings can be attained in much the same way that history has shown that individuals, through time and space, have been able to adapt and become integrated into non-indigenous and different cultures. Their assertion is that researchers too, can and should, understand different cultural codes and historiographies by immersing themselves within them and traversing cultural shifts from their respective academic positions. However, they caution that while contemporary comparative study increasingly and necessarily acknowledges western and Eurocentric biases, investigators must appreciate that it will inevitably draw out 'the demons' of postmodernity and 'cultural identification.' By this they mean that irrespective of discipline all researchers must be continually alert to not only the terms and factors upon which they base their comparisons, but the challenge of whether they have the 'right' - as outsiders - to analyse other cultures of which they have no personal experience or heritage. An open-minded process of continual self-critique and methodological evaluation is therefore a necessary pre-requisite for all who venture down this route.
At first glance, this collection of essays may seem somewhat disparate and disconnected, however there are unifying themes and all the case studies draw out both commonalties and contrasts. Individual contributors raise various issues and concerns about undertaking comparative analysis identifying their own particular problems and difficulties in framing boundaries and methodological stance. Each seeks to theorize and justify the methodological approach adopted in charting their own comparative historiography rather than being constrained by the imposition of strict editorially defined parameters. Thus some authors offer a very broad and more general critique encompassing a kaleidoscope of continents, countries and timescales albeit focused around broad themes such as the culture of violence (Wood) and juvenile delinquency (Shore). Others address a more specific and constrained thesis focussing on a specific crime and limited to a particular country, culture or within a truncated time frame: for example homicide in Stockholm C16 to C20 (Kaspersson); violence on the railways in C19 southwest Germany (Karstedt), and the use of shaming punishments in the US (Pratt). A third option is the duo comparison of two nationalities through the unifying theme of a particular type of crime such as King’s four examples of moral panics precipitated by robberies and street crime – three in English cities 1765, 1862, and 1972 and another in New York in 1976. And for those with an interest in historiographies of comparative policing Lawrence analyses police memoirs of French and English policemen 1870-1939 to ascertain their personal portrayals of self-image and representation. Walton compares the policing practices of two apparently irreconcilable exemplars - seaside holidays in Blackpool and San Sebastian in northern Spain 1870-1930 demonstrating the breadth of inquiry included in the book – and identifies some intriguing similarities. The penultimate exposition is a comparison of the US and English experience in the management of misdemeanours and worse committed by those in military service 1866-1918
Perhaps the most useful and challenging thesis though is Bronwen Morrison’s final concluding chapter where she attempts to address the question of ‘why conduct comparative research?’ This is a lively and entertaining read that genuinely and honestly reflects upon the academic difficulties, practical and cerebral, that any cross-cultural comparative inquiry imposes. Not only is a review of the current theoretical thinking and justifications from leading criminologists offered but Morrison raises many questions of her own including a number from her own experience of research into representations of inebriated women in the nineteenth century. For any researcher intending to include a cross-cultural perspective in their interrogations this chapter alone should be compulsory reading – and certainly for any postgraduates obliged to justify their methodology.
Author: Claire Corbett
Publishers Willan Publishing
Price: (paperback) £17.99 ISBN 1-84392-025-5 (hardback) £40.00.
Publication Date: 2003
Dr Corbett declares that 'The prime purpose of this book has been to bring together diverse information on many topics that constitute (or are closely connected with) car crime in order to provide a sound basis for further exploration'. If so, the aim is handsomely achieved. The 202 pages of text is stuffed full of informative, interesting and sometimes shocking information. But the book goes further than merely a survey of knowledge about car crime, to challenge our very notion of what 'car crime' actually is. Accordingly, it will be a ‘must read’ for all those with a interest in cars and should be compulsory reading for the much wider audience who imagine that it has little to offer that is relevant to them.
The recurring theme of the book is that 'car crime' extends far beyond theft of and from vehicles, and the associated menaces of joyriding and the like. These figure, but the author insists that 'car crime' should also include crimes committed in the course of driving cars. So, there are chapters concentrating on driving whilst impaired by alcohol, drugs, and fatigue; speeding; dangerous and careless driving; and unlicensed driving. Not only does she challenge us to broaden our definition of ‘car crime’, but also to recognise how 'car culture' leads us to elevate the value of the car and diminish the harm that its use causes.
'Car culture' grew from the exclusive preserve of the rich and famous in the early years of the last century to mass ownership today. This history gave the car its image of a luxurious status symbol that is seen as conferring freedom and allowing the exhilaration of speed-sentiments to which advertising appeals. We continue to regard attempts at regulation of traffic and driving behaviour, as did those early motoring pioneers, as unjustified oppression of 'ordinary decent motorists' despite the appalling death toll, injury and damage to property that cars cause. As Dr Corbett points out, the characterisation of collisions as 'accidents' denudes drivers of responsibility, for 'accidents' can happen to any of us.
Against this background of widespread flouting of the law and hostility to restriction, governments have been hesitant to legislate because of fear of the electoral consequences. The lack of seriousness with which traffic offences are regarded is reflected in the recent reduction in traffic policing and the exclusion of performance targets from this aspect of police work. This lack of attention to traffic offences is all the more ironic when it is revealed by Dr Corbett that those who pose the greatest risk of all manner of motoring harm are not middle-aged, middle-class, men but instead the 'usual suspects': young men from the lower social classes whose delinquency extends well beyond the motor car. It is they who are more like to drive whilst impaired by drink or drugs, to speed and drive dangerously, to drive without a valid licence, insurance and tax, and who absurdly over–rate their driving skill. They also tend to have criminal convictions aplenty.
However, as the driver of an obscenely large, gas-guzzling luxury car (albeit aged) I am not entirely convinced by the general assault on 'car culture'. Dr Corbett laments the influences that induce 'so many [who] to want to be part of this culture (whether they have licences or not) because drivers are treated—as they treat themselves—as superior to other road users'. Well, given how much I and other motorists are obliged to pay for the privilege of driving along the highway, I think we’ve earned the right to feel superior! But what kind of superiority is it that has led motoring to be taxed to the hilt to pour subsidies into the black hole of that antiquated technology that is the railway? Moreover, what kind of superiority is it when motorists are treated with scant regard for their civil liberties in the criminal justice system? It is all very well for Dr Corbett to argue that 'Legal arguments about lack of intention to cause harm while driving, and the greater focus on culpability not consequences of driving actions add fuel to the hegemony of the car and car drivers', but drivers are unusually (perhaps uniquely) subjected to strict liability offences. There is no need to establish mens rea when pursuing a prosecution for careless driving, or failing to comply with traffic signals. If this rant tells you anything, it is that Dr Corbett has achieved another of her aims—that of stimulating debate.
Professor of Political Sociology
The University of Reading
Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
2nd Edition 2004
Author: Sandra Walklate
Publishers Willan Publishing
Price: £17.99 RRP UK
Publication Date: 2004
This book provides a lucid and accessible introduction to gender issues in crime and criminal justice, central to any understanding of crime and criminal justice policy and practice. This second edition has ben updated to take full account of recent developments, particularly in the areas of policing, crime prevention, restorative justice and the Sexual Offences Act 2003. It deals with a wide range of issues within criminology and victimology, from the way in which the fear of crime is debated to the way in which the law operates in a gendered fashion.
Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice is divided into three main sections. The first considers the theoretical presumptions embedded in criminology and victimology in relation to gender; the second considers two substantive areas in which these presumptions have been particularly evident, the fear of crime and sexual violence; while the third deals with questions of policy in relation to policing and the law, and examines the way in which gendered assumptions influence criminal justice policy and practice
Sandra Walklate is Professor of Criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the author of a number of books in the area of crime, victims and policing.
Preface to 1st Edition and acknowledgements.
This book updates and replaces my earlier book, Gender and Crime: an introduction, published in 1995. This was originally borne out of the support given to me by friends and colleagues in the Department of Sociology, University of Salford, and by the opportunity to develop my teaching interests by Ian Taylor, then head of department. Since then I have been Reader in Criminology, and since February 1998 Professor of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, where I have been afforded the opportunity of developing a new degree programme in Criminology and Sociology.
Preparing a revised and updated version of this book has not been as easy as I anticipated. In some respects much has happened in the criminal justice world over the last few years. In terms of practice much is now in place in addressing the impact of crime (especially in relation to women) which was not there at the beginning of the 1990s. Moreover the MacPherson Report on the murder of Stephen Lawrence has focused the policy agenda on issues relating to ethnicity. I therefore constantly struggled with the questions of how much and under what circumstances did the question of gender still matter. However, that question now seems to me to be the crucial one. Clearly there are different lenses through which we might look at social life and gender is one of them. Without considering the centrality of this to us all (alongside race, class and sexuality) and some critical thought about how and when policies and practices might be differently informed, we shall be forever lost to sound bite politics.
This new edition, then, has been reorganised into three more clearly identifiable sections; roughly theory, praxis and policy; and each chapter has been updated to take account of more recent developments, both theoretical and empirical, in each of the relevant areas. My aim is not to offer a gendered analysis as an answer to the crime problem, but rather to lead students and practitioners alike to reflect upon how and under what circumstances the relationship between gender, crime and criminal justice is the salient one.
Sandra Walklate Cheshire, June 2000.
Crime Control and Community, The new politics of public safety
Author: Edited By Gordon Hughes And Adam Edwards
ISBN: 1903240549 Hardback
Publishers Willan Publishing
Price: £25 RRP UK
Publication Date: April 2002
Community-based crime prevention has become one of the principal policy responses to crime and disorder across western societies, and regarded now as one of the keys to successful crime prevention and reduction. But it has been difficult to generalize from different experiences of crime prevention schemes to find out 'what works, and making simple comparisons has often proved misleading.
The aim of this book is to bring together findings from case studies of community based crime prevention in Britain as a means of examining the prospects for this approach, its evolving relationship with criminal justice and social policies, and of assessing the lessons internationally that can be drawn from this in the theory, practice, research and politics of crime control.
At the same time the book advances an important new conceptual framework for understanding community-based crime prevention, focusing on an understanding of the diversity of community crime prevention strategies, the locally particular conditions in which they are conducted, and the degree of choices open to political authorities charged with implementing these strategies, and exploring some of the political and ethical dilemmas which arise.
Understanding diversity in this way is central to drawing lessons about the transferability of crime prevention theory and practice from one social context to another, avoiding the naive emulation of crime control practices in different contexts. The book will be essential reading for anybody with a professional or academic interest in crime control and the broader social, political, criminological and ethical issues it raises.
Gordon Hughes is Senior Lecturer at the Open University, and Adam Edwards Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. Both have written extensively in the field of crime prevention and crime control, and on criminology more generally.
The genesis of this book can be traced back to a conversation between the editors and one of the contributors, Kevin Stenson, at that splendid Liverpool institution, the Adelphi Hotel, in 1999. The context was the biannual conference of the British Society of Criminology during which, for the first time, a specific team was set aside for local studies of community safety and community-based crime control. For the three of us, the debates in this stream represented a long overdue recognition by mainstream British criminology of the salience of community safety strategies for the future direction of crime control policy and its relationship to the 'discipline' of criminology. In the course of this conversation we discussed the need for a longer-term project considering the lessons that can be drawn from the practice of community based crime control in different localities. Over the past decade there has been an accumulation of detailed, qualitative case studies of this practice in different English localities, which both justifies and enables lesson drawing through international comparisons. Taken collectively these local case studies suggest that what is most insightful about the conduct of community-based crime control is its diversity. Whereas the predominant trend in official discourse has been to generalise particular instances of 'best' practice in the search for universal models of 'what works', our preference is to reverse this logic of policy change and learning to recognise particularity and distinguish the locally specific from the genuinely universal. The discovery of what practices are genuinely universal and are, therefore, robust enough to stand translation from one locality to others with often very diverse social, economic and political histories is a key objective of policy-oriented
Crime Control and Community learning and not its simple, unproblematic, starting point. Discovering what, if any, crime control practices are universal is a key contribution that social science can make to the process of policy-oriented learning and provides the core rationale of this edited collection and the broader project of crime control policy analysis of which it is a part.
In shifting the terms of debate away from the assertion of universal models of what works towards recognition of the particular contexts and practices of crime control, this project challenges policymakers to question the possibility of learning from and transferring practices among diverse localities. How transferable are these practices? What are the potential consequences of their transfer? Who is actually involved in decisions about what works, for whom and in what contexts? Questioning the possibility of learning in this way reveals the political and ethical content of governmental processes like crime control. While there is a strong tradition in Anglo-American official discourse of divorcing 'policy' from 'politics', defining the latter as the provenance of legislatures and regarding the former as the apolitical administration of their laws, studies of the implementation of public policy have consistently demonstrated the omnipresence of political agency throughout the entire process of policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. The other core theme of our approach to policy change and learning is, therefore, to understand the exercise of political power inherent in the conduct, not just the formulation, of crime control policy.
In turn, community-based strategies provide an acid test of policy oriented learning about contemporary crime control. The appeal to community is at the epicentre of major changes in the relationship of citizens to political authorities in Britain and other advanced liberal democracies. The perceived failure of attempts to govern through public bureaucracies and through quasi-markets has provoked increasing interest in the 'third way' of governing through partnerships of public, private and voluntary organisations. Whether public-private partnerships are regarded as a genuinely alternative method of governing or just as another forum in which advocates of public service and private interest struggle to define the ends of public policy, their establishment raises important questions over the legitimacy of directly involving private interests in public government. This is especially the case in the emotionally charged field of crime control where the direct participation of communities in their own government can, conceivably, mean anything from attending a cursory public meeting through to vigilante action and the exacting of 'street justice' from suspected offenders. The unintended, as well as intended, consequences of introducing universal models of 'what works' into very diverse social contexts is thus of immediate practical as well as policy and theoretical interest. Indeed one of the distinguishing qualities of the contributions to this edited volume is the finding that issues of legitimacy, equity and justice, far from being the preserve of 'ivory tower' theorising that is a distraction from the immediate, practical concerns of crime reduction, are actually part of the everyday dilemmas encountered by crime control practitioners sent out into 'the community' to foster partnership work.
This collection presents a point of departure for an approach to policy-oriented learning that affirms the practical adequacy of political and normative theories of crime control, recognises the effect of the particular local contexts in which crime control policies are implemented and, in doing so, builds a more determinate understanding of control by distinguishing locally specific practices from those that are genuinely universal. The focus of this text is primarily on the processes of community-based crime control, rather than on its outcomes for rates of crime and disorder, which reflects the orientation of qualitative case study research in English localities. We hope, however, that this volume can contribute to a broader programme of international and transnational comparative research into the conduct and outcomes of local crime control in Britain and in other advanced liberal societies.
We wish to acknowledge the contributors for their commitment to this project and for their patience in putting up with our demands as editors. Special thanks also go to our publisher Brian Willan for his support and continuing enthusiasm for our collective project.
Unhappy Dialogue The Metropolitan Police and black Londoners in post-war Britain
This book is concerned with the origins of the relationship between the Metropolitan Police and London's Black community during the crucial early decades of large-scale immigration.
Edition: 1st 2004
Author: James Whitfield,
Reviewed by Owen Kelly & Brian Rowland
Publishers: Willan Publishing
Price £25 RRP UK
Publication Date: 17th June 2004
First Review by Owen Kelly
Had the presentation of information in this book been balanced, it would have been a very useful history of relationships between the Metropolitan Police and West Indian immigrants (and their descendants) over the past half century. The evident amount of research is impressive. It is a great pity that the author has not presented it in a more neutral and objective way. Its usefulness is diminished by the way he turns it into a polemic against successive UK governments, and the Metropolitan Police in particular who, it seems, could do absolutely nothing right.
Having been a member of the Met for 29 years, in all ranks from PC to District Commander, during much of the period the author covers, and having served in the ranks of Inspector, Chief Inspector and Superintendent at Brixton Police Station, some of it as Community Relations Officer (CLO) for the Borough of Lambeth, I claim to speak with at least equal authority to the author. During that period, and later as District Chief Supt and then Commander of P District which then covered the Boroughs of Lewisham (also with a large West Indian population) and Bromley, I witnessed at first hand, and was involved in, the sacrifices and efforts made by the Met to achieve good relations with the Afro Caribbean communities. Sadly, those efforts were not always reciprocated by sections of those communities. Later, when I had gone on to head the City of London Police, I was still able to observe with keen interest what was happening to my large neighbour and how the sterling work in improving relationships with the whole spectrum of ethnic groups continued. None of that is acknowledged in the book. I just do not recognise the Met Police the author describes.
By contrast, there is no criticism of the West Indian community. Nothing at all about the failure of some in that community to respect the rights of the host community, thereby forcing confrontations with police. No recognition of the distress caused to people living in wide swathes of streets into the early morning hours by ear-splitting music blasted from powerful amplifiers, usually from an empty house taken over, sometimes illegally, to organise for commercial profit an unlicensed drinking (and sometimes cannabis dealing) den. This was typically a small 2 or 3 bedroomed terraced house with one wc, occupied by up to 100 people, some spilling out from front and back, with others urinating in the street or against parked cars. In an attempt to avoid confrontation, I can recall, as an Inspector, on occasions personally approaching those organising such events and pleading with them to stop. Then, having been rebuffed, being forced into obtaining warrants to raid the premises for unlicensed sale of liquor. At the time I was aware of similar attempts to avoid confrontation being made elsewhere in the Met area. This was not just trying to preserve relationships, it was recognising that there was just not enough manpower for the tasks, and that there was a risk of widespread disorder if we lost control. Sometimes we just backed away rather than take that risk - and, to our sorrow, let the aggrieved section of the population suffer on. I wonder if the author ever had to explain this impotency to the victims, as I had. And this was long before the Scarman Inquiry which, in effect, gave support to that approach rather than risk a riot. To suggest that the Met policy of the time was careless of avoiding such confrontations, is just plain wrong.
Nor is there recognition of the position created by West Indian youth being disproportionately involved in street robberies, with police again unavoidably driven by pressure from victims to do something about it. I had personal experience of addressing and trying to pacify those victims and their relatives at public meetings. When those victims described and identified their assailants as teams of young West Indians, we had was no choice but to concentrate on those teams - and then be accused of discrimination. Again there were instances where to have made arrests would have risked provoking a riot by others joining in to rescue the culprits, and again, for the greater good, we backed off - but with heavy hearts. There are many other areas of behaviour I could list where police were driven into confrontation, albeit by a small sections of the Afro Caribbean community, but that would achieve nothing here.
As a CLO, and later as District Commander, I liaised closely with the West Indian local community representatives, keeping them informed of all our areas of conflict and seeking their help in resolving them. Sadly, they too had little control over the offending sections of their community. On occasions they explained that such conduct was an extension of how some behaved in Jamaica, and no solution had been found for it there either. Again, this is something of which the author must be aware, yet chooses not to mention, preferring to blame the conflicts solely on police and government policy failures.
It is commonly asserted by pundits in this field (as does this author) that the main onus for improving relations with ethnic communities lies with the police service, and I go along with that - but not to the extent that it should relieve those communities from the responsibility for dealing with the failings of some of their members, and taking initiatives to avoid conflicts with police.
There are other parts of the book with which I could take issue, but rather than weary the reader, I have stayed with those of which I had direct personal experience.
In summary, that bias in presentation damages the book's credibility and I cannot recommend it.
Second Review By Brian Rowland
This book has a somewhat misleading title in that it is mainly centred around the influx of West Indians of African origin into the United Kingdom after the Second World War, rather than, as the sub title suggests, the entry of black Londoners. Quite quickly after that influx, numbers of immigrants began to arrive from the Indian subcontinent. That such immigration quickly overtook that from the Caribbean area was hardly surprising, given the difference in population between the two areas. The difference in the African and the Asian although mentioned in the book, could perhaps have been explored in greater depth. The variances in temperament and the levels of crime might have been two examples that would have been worth exploring. Although the author has served a considerable period to reach Inspector rank, his knowledge of the Metropolitan Police and its history appears somewhat sketchy. He makes the point that Sir Joseph Simpson was the first Commissioner to rise through the ranks, but makes no mention of the special arrangements that Lord Trenchard put in place during his period of office as Commissioner, whereby suitable well educated recruits were fast tracked through the force as products of the Hendon Police College in the 30's. Sir Joseph was such a product and in the 1950's and 60's many Chief Constables of provincial forces owed their positions to having passed through Hendon. Even latter day matters contain errors. one finds it difficult to understand why the present Commissioner, Sir John Stevens, who has held the office for the past five years, is referred to at page 188 and in the index as Sir John Stephens. Neither were there any Home Office training centres to assist in training colonial officers, as mentioned in page 38. Such establishments owe their origin to post Second World War recruitment. The author devotes space to describing the attitude of the indigenous white population to their colonial cousins, homing in on the fact that he is referring, in the latter instance, to the black immigrants from the Caribbean. He has not come to any understanding of that white population who over the previous 400 years had developed a British Empire that covered a third of the world and was marked out in red on the atlas. Moreover, that from a very early age, schoolchildren were taught that the United Kingdom led the world and this has rubbed off on those now in the evening of their lives. The reviewer has vivid memories in the 30's of celebrations to mark Empire. Day on May 24th each year, when as school children all were marched out on to the school playing field where the Union Jack was solemnly raised in recognition of the greatness of the nation. Such memories are not easily erased and whilst one can understand the points of view outlined by the author it will have to be for future generations, as they attune to multiracialism, to ensure that such attitudes and memories have been obliterated. Fortunately one can see changes already taking place in the stance of younger people to racial matters and the increase in mixed race unions. Unfortunately, such change will take time and everybody will have to be patient.
The author devotes some space to what is an important chapter dealing with the run up to the Royal Commission of 1962. Prior to Sir Henry Willink's Report the police service suffered from poor morale brought about in no small measure by civil servants from the Home Office failing to recognise the quality of the police officers and who from the post Second World war era, had adopted a policy of keeping police pay low and comparing it with the artisan, rather than where it more properly belonged, with the professions. When morale was seen as slipping below an acceptable level then some sort of Inquiry was established that inevitably recommended large increases. This had been so with the Lord Oaksey Report in the 50's in the Willink Royal Commission Report and was carried on to the Edmund - Davies Inquiry in the 70's. It was not therefore remarkable, that the Royal Commission, appointed in January 1960, within less than a month saw fit to move the remuneration of the Constable to the top if its priorities and indeed presented an interim report on the subject in November of that year. The members, unfortunately could not find it possible to move away from fixing the pay on a par with a plumber or welder rather than with a lawyer or doctor, as set out in Appendix IV of the interim report. This position has not altered, very largely because
police officers, the majority of whom come from working class backgrounds, have always hugely underestimated their value to the community they serve. Was that perhaps why the 1950's and 60's were decades with pay usually poor and morale often at rock bottom, and why many young black men, who could have presented themselves as candidates for the police service, instead chose to find work in factories and even in the utility services where they dealt with all sections of the community and where they found pay was better and conditions much more congenial?
The book gives some prominence to the financing of the Metropolitan Police and the responsibilities that lie in that direction. Sir Joseph Simpson is shown as complaining that as Commissioner he did not have the control of the purse strings he had when he was Chief Constable. There is no doubt that was true although it perhaps overstates the position. It has to be said, that for all police forces there is only one body that controls the police service and that is the Home Office. That control is quite simply exercised in respect of all important matters by laying down that they are subject to the approval of the Secretary of State. So despite having negotiating arrangements for pay and conditions, nothing can move until the Home Secretary says so. And to whom does he turn? To his civil servants, who in turn talk to their counterparts in the Treasury, because unless the money is available nothing is going to happen. It was true in post-war Britain and it is still true today, as witnessed at the 2004 Police Superintendents' of England and Wales Conference, when the delegates when asked who ran the service, overwhelmingly chose the Home Office. With regard to the Metropolitan Police, there is one officer that the book barely mentions and that is the post of the Receiver. He was usually a civil servant from the Home Office who ensured that the financial arrangements between New Scotland Yard and at that time, Whitehall, were neatly arranged. Likewise with any sensitive issue connected with policing, it was, and still is, the word of the Home Office through the Circulars that emanate from Queen Anne's Gate which allegedly issue guidance, but can only be ignored at a Chief Officers' peril, that calls the shots. But because they are alleged to be only guidance, they provide a useful escape route for the real authors, the civil servants. Neither does it matter what Government is in power. Michael Howard when Home Secretary put an immediate ban on introduction of the long 'nightstick' truncheon because of police violence used in Los Angeles at the time and who just recently approved the nationwide use of Taser Guns? So much for Chief Oficers' having operational control. One can go back in time and see the familiar picture of Winston Churchill in command at Sidney Street almost a century ago. He was, of course, the Home Secretary at the time!
The reviewer finds this a rather sad book, written by somebody who appears to have fallen out of love with the Metropolitan Police, which through its officers at all levels, has striven over many years to provide racial harmony. Perhaps the best place to look for this is within the many ancillary workers who have found happy employment within the force.
The race issue can very much be likened to the European Union’s problems. Both have diverse issues stretching back many centuries and suddenly in the space of a few decades attempts are being made to weld several disparate parts into one homogeneous mass. It is just not possible to achieve such aspirations in so short a time. Already there are signs that racial issues are improving as future generations are born and more mixed communities are formed. But it is too much to expect the police alone to do it all and to be critical of many good police officers who served in the 60s and 70's and attempted to kick start solving a problem that is still far from being resolved, and lays blame where it is not deserved. It is just a pity that the book does not give any ideas as to how a start could be made on solving the cultural differences the author so clearly makes manifest.
28th October 2004
James Whitfield currently holds a research fellowship at the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research at the Open University. He was until recently an Inspector in the Metropolitan Police, and had direct experience of, many of the-issues he writes about in this book.
Hard Cop, Soft Cop
Dilemmas and debates in contemporary policing
Author: Edited by Roger Hopkins Burke
Publishers: Willan Publishing
Price £19.99 Paperback (Hardback £45)
Publication Date: 10th May 2004
This is a book about policing strategies in the broadest sense and is concerned to explore the spectrum of approaches which range from zero tolerance policing at the “hard” end to apparently “softer” welfare or community-oriented approaches at the other. In doing so it engages with the dilemmas and moral ambiguities inherent in the tensions between different policing strategies - central to today's debates on the current and future role of policing - in the context of the competing and apparently conflicting contemporary popular demands for security and order versus civil and human rights.
Rather than seeking to juxtapose "hard" and "soft" policing styles the book takes as an underlying theme the notion that policing is both pervasive and insidious. Different policing styles and strategies - whether undertaken by the public police service, private security or social work agencies - all form part of a fast expanding multi-agency corporate crime control industry that we as individuals both welcome and fear, and which provides the essential context for an understanding of contemporary policing.
This book is divided into three parts, focussing firstly on the policing of contemporary communities, secondly on the policing of contemporary offences, and finally on issues of democracy, accountability and human rights. It will be essential reading for anybody with an interest in the present and future of policing in the UK and beyond.
Roger Hopkins Burke is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Nottingham Trent University. His previous publications include An Introduction to Criminological Theory (Willan, 2001), and Zero Tolerance Policing (Perpetuity Press, 1998).
Mark Button, Chris Crowther, Roger Hopkins Burke, Ruth Morrill, Andy Karmen, Lorna White Sansom, Mandy Shaw, Graham Smith, Basia Spalek, Paul Sparrow, Mike Sutton, Nick Tilley, David Webb, Colin Webster, John Wadham, Alec Whyte.
Review by Dr Peter Kennison, Middlesex University
This text is 310 pages long consisting of sixteen chapters split into three distinct sections. These themes are ‘Policing Contemporary Communities’ ‘Policing Contemporary Offences’ and ‘Democracy, accountability and Human Rights’. This is a book about policing strategies in a very broad sense, in various jurisdictions in the world. The book differentiates between hard and soft policing with zero tolerance approaches being at the hard end, whilst welfare policing styles or community orientated methods occupying the soft end of policing. It is aimed at the practitioner and the academic.
The first section is headed ‘Policing Contemporary Communities’ and contains six chapters on not only policing particular geographic areas, but also specific groups within those areas.
In chapter one Roger Hopkins Burke introduces and evaluates policing in contemporary society by distinguishing between the extremes in policing styles - hard and soft policing.
In chapter two the author Andrew Karmen draws on the work of Wilson and Kelling’s ‘Broken Windows thesis’ which was successfully linked with zero tolerance policing styles in New York during the 1990’s to produce staggering reductions in crime. The idea behind zero tolerance approaches focuses on dealing with the minor criminal infractions first, because these have an effect of major crimes. For example this notion assumes that to take out the minor drug dealers, means that the major dealers cannot survive. The author considers the nature of zero tolerance policing and assesses the collateral damage in terms of its effect on the community. What is highlighted here is the alienation this style of policing has on certain sections of the community e.g. the poor, the young, the black, the socially excluded.
Chapter three considers ‘Policing incivilities in Germany’. The author Alick Whyte also picks up on the work of Wilson and Kelling’s ‘Broken Windows thesis’ and zero tolerance policing styles. This is done using incivilities or anti social behaviour and shows how Germany is experiencing the same problems with quality of life issues as in the UK. Whilst specific German Towns may be dealing with it proactively and in much the same way, it has not needed legislation to do so.
Chapter four is entitled Over and Under Policing social exclusion by Chris Crowther. The author reviews the ongoing developments on police policy and practice in relation to social exclusion. This is done considering two theoretical orientations neo-Marxist/neo-Webberian which represents an actuarial justice approach, whilst Foucauldian methods embody risk management strategies. The author prescribes a synthesis of these two perspectives as they offer differing views of the same problem. The author also recognises the fragmentation of the policing function and wonders whether inter agency co-operation can be achieved under such circumstances.
In chapter five ‘Policing British Asian Communities’ by Colin Webster the author explores both over and under policing of the Asian community. He considers the issue of police racism in terms of the black community and suggests that the Asian community are policed differently to black African/Caribbean people. Previously the Asian community were viewed as more compliant, however more recently and because of Islamaphobia, they have been treated as a suspect population. At one level, the increased numbers of Asian youth compared to white reaching adolescences is a factor, which sees more Asian youth becoming criminalised. Additionally the influence of zero tolerance policing sees young Asians being stigmatised and criminalized. This results in over policing of the young at one level, whilst at the community level, Asian communities feel they are under-policed because they live in the grip of fear from further victimisation and racism. In essence, a double victimisation by the system – the police and offenders.
In chapter six Paul Sparrow and David Webb consider the probation service called ‘Discipline and Flourish: Probation and the new correctionalism’. The authors consider the historical context through to modern times. It plots the development of the service from what the authors refer to as traditional social work methodologies of welfarism, to that of being little more than a criminal justice functionary, whose role is based on more punitive methods of denunciation, retribution and deterrence. The writers call for a return to less coercion and more consideration where Garland (1989) asserts notions of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness with the aim of promoting prevention and reform.
Mark Buttons chapter relates to ‘Softly, softly, private security and policing of the corporate space’. It picks up on earlier notions of hard and soft policing throughout the world by theorising about these characteristics relating to private security. He shows how in North America the legacy is based on hard policing and that pockets do exist elsewhere in the world, which also subscribe to these notions. In the UK as well as in other post-industrial societies, the general orientation tends towards soft policing i.e. community based partnership and risk-assessed approaches.
Part 2: Policing Contemporary Offences contains five chapters that focuses on specific crimes and suggests alternative methods of dealing with them. In chapter eight Nick Tilley deconstructs the notion of ‘the crackdown’ in his chapter entitled ‘Using crackdowns constructively in crime reduction’ Here he examines Shermans (1990) method of intervention into geographic areas, which uses a sudden increase of officer presence as a sanction, for the purposes of apprehension for particular crimes or arrests in a particular place. Using a variety of case studies on interventions, he cites the positive benefits of targeting certain groups, particularly the middle classes. Tilley suggests that this group have reputations to maintain, since these are the most prolific of offenders and where such tactics secure the best results.
Chapter nine by Mike Sutton is entitled, ‘Tackling the roots of theft: reducing tolerance towards stolen goods market’. He uses his own research on the stolen goods market (Sutton 1998) and deconstructs the whole phenomenon including its links with the drugs and sex markets. By examining it in such detail it exposes the trading relationships within the market by contextualising the various types of fences (dealers) and thieves. Sutton advocates the market reduction approach (MRA) as a strategy to deal with the stolen goods market. He argues that demand creates the market and thieves believe they can sell what they steal, therefore feeding that market. Thieves assess the risks and will not steal items, which they cannot sell. More offers to sell stolen goods are made in the poorest areas in Britain. Sutton argues that the risks to the thieves need to be increased and the rewards reduced. Sutton also argues that the legislation is inadequate for modern day usage and contends that previous convictions for handling offences be used to support current charges, as a means of proving that the handler knew or believed the property was stolen.
In chapter ten ‘Stalking the stalker; a review of policing strategies’ by Lorna White Sansom, the author focuses on stalking – a social construct which suggests a spectrum of behaviours. These include surveillance, monitoring, letter and gift sending, nuisance calls, threatening behaviour, all behaviours which separately seem innocuous and harmless but when incorporated as part of a campaign may be severely damaging for the focus of the unwanted attention. The chapter considers the motivation for the stalker including locating the behaviour within the context of domestic violence using Walkers (1979) cycle of violence theory. It also considers the legislation and various policing strategies. It draws on research and experience gained from various jurisdictions. In conclusion the author seeks a combined strategy, which links the issues of domestic violence and stalking, which both need to be recognised socially, politically and legally.
Chapter eleven deals with the problem of white-collar crime through two recent high profile financial scandals. Entitled ‘Policing financial crime; the Financial Services Authority and the myth of the duped investor’ Basia Spalek explores what went wrong in the cases of ENRON the US energy Giant who went bankrupt in 2001 and WorldCom the 2nd biggest long-distance telephone company who posted a $4Bn hole in their accounts in 2002. The author considers the regulators responsibilities in the UK and the US. In the UK the author places the Financial Services Agency (FSA) under the spotlight by taking into consideration the nature of its operation and whether the same mistakes could happen here in Britain. The author contextualises the nature of the FSA and raises important concerns about regulation in the UK. It concludes by suggesting the FSA should reconsider its position in terms of its relationship between financial crime and the victim.
In chapter twelve Mandy Shaw evaluates a rehabilitation programme in Holland, which started in 1992. Called ‘Hard Coating, soft centre? The role of the police in Dordrecht offender rehabilitation programmes’. The chapter reflects on the police role n the complex interplay between hard and soft options to sustain reduced long-term offender behaviour. Here she describes the project and reflects on issues such as problem orientated policing, repeat offending zero tolerance and restorative justice approaches. In conclusion she suggests the apparently contradictory elements of zero tolerance and problem orientated policing are in fact complimentary in tackling the root causes of offending.
Part 3 contains four chapters relating to the themes of Democracy, Accountability and Human Rights.
Chapter thirteen by Graham Smith is called ‘Whats law got to do with it? Some reflections on the police in light of developments in New York City’. In this chapter the author briefly reviews the complex notion of constabulary independence and specifically highlights the issue of discretion within operational policing. In essence, it is about police accountability and the balance of control over the police. It considers the increased politicisation of policing in the ever-changing world and suggests that legislation be used to redress the balance, in order to maintain the prized doctrine of Constabulary independence.
Chapter fourteen is joint authored by John Wadham and Kavita Modi (both ex members of Liberty – the Human rights group) and is entitled ‘Policing and the Human Rights Act 1998’. The chapter gives an overview of the Human Rights Act 1998 and shows how many of the articles are relevant to policing. The authors examine rights issues such as surveillance, demonstration, stop and search, arrest, detention and treatment at a police station. Deaths in custody are also evaluated. Much of this chapter is heavily legalistic, but alerts us to potential abuses by the police.
In the last chapter the joint authors Roger Hopkins Burke and Ruth Morrill consider the issue of Anti Social Behaviour. Entitled ‘Human Rights v community rights: the case of the Anti Social Behaviour (ASB) Order’. This chapter plots the rise of ASB over recent years, outlines difficulties of definition and explores the legislation designed to combat crime and disorder. It shows the problems of balance, which seek to protect the public on the one hand, whilst at the same time protecting the individual. This chapter argues that new Labour have shown themselves to be commutarianists that value communities over the individual. Due process values are sacrificed in the increased pursuit of crime control where non- problematic young people would grow out of their activities to become respectable citizens. Here the authors imply that that is wrong, using punitive methods to criminalise the behaviour of young people in this way, as it changes the nature and balance of society.
This is a good collection of chapters, covering a variety of topics that discuss and evaluate current dilemmas and debates in policing. This publication shows graphically, how policing became fragmented and how existing strategies failed to deal with the problems of modern living. A must for those who have an interest in policing.
Dr Peter Kennison
4th January 2005